Poe: "Do you see escalation a possibility?"
Dempsey: "I can never drive the risk of escalation to zero, but I think the limited purpose, the partnership we have in the region...begin to limit that risk."
Poe asks Dempsey to elaborate on whether he's still concerned about removing Assad from power.
Dempsey: "I still am cautious about whether we should use U.S. military force in support of the opposition to tip the balance...I remain cautious about taking the opposition's role here in the civil war."
2 p.m. ET -- Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Florida, asks why the U.S. should be the country leading this effort.
Kerry says the U.S. "is not being the world's policeman" and it's "joining other countries in upholding an international standard." He goes on to say the U.S. has a "greater capacity" to carry out such missions.
Deutsch also focused some of his remarks on American credibility, which was a recent topic of debate between experts from the Brookings Institution, the Hoover institution and a former commander of the USS Cole.
Kerry insisted America's goal was not regime change and assured the committee that there are moderate rebels committed to democracy.
1:53 p.m. ET -- Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, expresses concerns about retaliations against the U.S. by extremists, especially in light of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks next week.
There is a lot of talk about al Qaeda and the makeup of the rebels.
1:48 p.m. ET -- Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Virginia, says he believes the evidence "is convincing and compelling," but added "the overhang of Iraq has many of us chained." However, Connolly points out the differences between Iraq and Syria. For example, he says, the U.S. currently is "not dealing with perspective surmise about whether such weapons exist or whether or not he might use them...The question for us is what are we going to do about it?"
He goes on to ask if the U.S. does nothing, what is the likelihood that al-Assad will use chemical weapons as a routine weapon to turn the tide of the civil war.
Hagel replied: "I think the likelihood is very high."
1:40 p.m. ET -- Kerry says that if the U.S. does not act, "That would be one of those moments in history that would live in infamy."
"If we back off and give him a message of impunity, we will have said to him 'Nobody cares, gas your people, you do what you need to stay in office and we're backing off.' That would be one of those moments in history that will live in infamy. And there are those moments. Munich. A ship off coast of Florida that was sent back filled with Jews who then lost their lives to gas because we didn't receive them. There are moments where you have to make a decision, and I think this is one of those moments."
1:35 p.m. ET -- Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, asks Kerry what made the president change his mind and seek Congressional approval.
"The president said he felt very, very strongly that it was important for us to be in our strongest posture, that the United States needed to speak with one voice," Kerry says. He added that Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, argued that it would look bad if the president was going against Congress, on top of U.S. allies and the United Nations. "We heard from you, and many of you said we think it's really important to come to Congress."
1:29 p.m. ET -- Rep. Greg Meeks, D-New York, says he has very strong reservations about acting in Syria without military support from a broad international coalition. He asks Dempsey what will bring a solution to the crisis in Syria.
Dempsey says the purpose of the mission is not to take military action to favor the opposition but to degrade Assad's capacity for using chemical weapons agains. Dempsey says he can't say there's absolutely no risk of escalation that would require more U.S. military action, but he estimates that risk would be very low.
1:18 p.m. ET -- Many members think the current resolution from the White House is too broad and does not rule out the potential for troops on the ground, nor does it give a timeline for how the U.S. will get out of the conflict after the strikes. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, tells Kerry the more narrow and carefully tailored the resolution is, the more likely it will succeed in the House,
1:11 p.m. ET -- Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, asks if there will be boots on the ground. Kerry reiterates that the current resolution from the president does not allow for boots on the ground during the punitive strike. This was a big point of contention in Tuesday's Senate hearing.
1:09 p.m. ET -- Hagel says there's no long-term military solution in Syria. "It's going to require a political solution."
1:03 p.m. ET -- Could there be competing resolutions between the House and the Senate?
CNN Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh reports that two House Democrats--Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Gerald Connolly --drafted this alternative resolution language, which is similar to Senate language and began circulating it last night. A senior House Democratic leadership aide said it's still unclear how the process will work for the House resolution. They are aware of this language, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer are not endorsing it yet.
A senior GOP leadership aide echoed that, saying the process is unclear and it's to be determined whether the House will vote on the Senate resolution or come up with its own version. The aide said its likely the House will wait to see what the Senate does, but won't rule out a vote on something different.